What better way to get to know a place other than through its traditional products and flavors? In Kefalonia, just like in every other area of Greece, there is a variety of local products that are known for their quality, taste and uniqueness.
Mandola is a traditional sweet treat that can only be found in the Ionian Islands and is one of the most well-known traditional products of Kefalonia. This sweet delicacy is made of almonds and sugar, while its vibrant deep red color comes from a kind of seaweed that the locals use traditionally in food coloring. The name of this treat comes from the Italian word for almond, ‘Mandorla’, which was borrowed and integrated into greek, back when the isle was under the Venetian occupation.
Mandolato is another sweet dainty whose name also comes from the Italian word ‘mandorla’. During the Venetian Domination, this sweet treat was considered to be a delicacy mostly of the aristocrats of the area. It consists of almonds, honey, sugar and egg-whites beaten in meringue.
Pastokidono (Komfeto): Long before chocolates and other modern sugar-based confections appeared on the scene in Greece, people of Kefalonia were fond of quince, an autumn harvest sweet. So, in early November begins the harvesting of quinces from the wild quince trees that grow in Palliki region. At first, fruits get cut and the hardest part of the procedure comes next, with the peeling and de-pitting of the quinces totally by hand. Then, fruits get smashed, mixed with sugar and boiled. In the form of marmalade, gets enriched with roasted almonds and honey. This is how pastokidono is made, a very tasty and healthy dessert.
Thyme and Spruce Honey are varieties of honey that prosper on the island due to its plant life and climate. Thyme honey is light-colored and well-known for its quality, rich flavor and scent, regarded to be amongst the best types of honey produced in Greece. On the other hand, Spruce honey comes from the nectar of flowers and is of high quality and taste.
Robola wine, the Kefalonian spirit! This deliciously crisp and fruity wine, is produced from grapes grown on the slopes of Mount Aenos and is a great introduction to the unique tastes of the island. Its characteristic bouquet is that of citrus blossoms, peaches, lime and apple. This wine accompanies best fish dishes, although people from Kefalonia prefer it with almost any food or as an aperitif as well.
The most noted local dishes range from pies to greeneries and several types of meat: kreatopita (meat pie), bakaliaropita (cod pie), bourbourelia (soup of mixed beans), rabbit stew, strapatsada (eggs with tomatoes), riganada (bread slices with oregano and local feta cheese), scordalia (crushed garlic on a bulky base made of potatoes purée).
Of course, you can find a vast variety of high quality local dairy products, homegrown virgin olive oil and organic agricultural products grown in the fertile Kefalonian soil.